August is National Black Business Month. Here’s How It Started
Photo Credit: Portrait of smiling female fine artist with palette and paintbrush in workshop. With casual clothes and apron.
For many Black-business owners, having to navigate an absurd amount of hurdles can make it difficult to keep doors open. From rising rent prices to lack of access to loans, there’s a lot that can prevent businesses from flourishing.
It’s an experience that isn’t new. When Frederick E. Jordan began his company in 1969, he noticed that there weren’t many financing options out there. While his company — F.E. Jordan Associates Inc. — ultimately found success, Jordan hasn’t forgotten what getting a business off the ground is like.
In 2004, motivated by his own experiences, Jordan partnered with John William Templeton to turn August into National Black Business Month. The point is to help highlight Black entrepreneurs and encourage people to support their businesses.
“Their complaints are valid,” Jordan told Black Enterprise in 2010. “It’s very difficult for black businesses to survive. Their obstacles are enormous.”
It’s been almost a decade since Jordan’s comments, but the sentiment remains true today. According to a survey of 2,700 small Black-owned businesses conducted by Guidant Financial and LendingClub Corporation, Black business owners often receive lower loan amounts.
Also, Black business owners are more likely to leverage their cash to help fund their business versus other small business owners at 41 percent versus 32 percent respectively.
Despite these obstacles, the number of Black-owned businesses — and those owned by women in particular — continue to grow. According to American Express’ 2018 State of Women-Owned Business Report, the number of firms owned by Black women grew 164% from 2007 to 2018, nearly three times above the average rate.
The month of August isn’t over, so there’s still plenty of time to support Black-owned businesses!